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The all-gas mask revival of Hamlet

All-gas mask HamletThe 1937 all-gas mask revival of Hamlet at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre would have probably gone down in the annals of theatre history as the best all-gas mask production — of any play — if the director, Sir Albert Fezbinder had not insisted on actually gassing the audience after Hamlet uttered his final line, “the rest is silence.”

By all surviving accounts, a young Laurence Olivier was riveting as the famed Prince of Denmark. One critic, Thesper Citrus-Fruit, managed to drag himself from the theatre, leaving a trail of bits of lung behind him and penned a short critical haiku:

Olivier brill!
His eyes pierce even rubber
Mustard triumphant.

Alltop is also gassy.